Five Things I've Learned In Five Years of Marriage
Today is Shawn's and my 5th anniversary.
It is absolutely crazy town that we've already been married for that long. In some ways, it feels like yesterday that we were walking down the aisle and partying with our friends and family at the wedding reception.
Then, in other ways, it feels like we've already created a lifetime of memories together. Call me cliche or cheesy, but I really do fall more and more in love with him, the more time we spend together.
Don't get me wrong, he also drives me up a dang wall on occasion. He eats cookies in bed WITHOUT a plate, he leaves his dirty laundry everywhere, he never throws his trash away, he leaves a half sip of juice in a container and puts it back in the fridge, and so many more things. Oh my gosh, I'm getting heated right now as I type! He also tells a lot of corny Dad jokes that some people giggle at (probably to make him feel better), but make me roll my eyes in annoyance. That's just him, and I've come to terms with his quirks. Bless him. He will definitely make our kids laugh someday, though. Then they'll become teenagers and start to roll their eyes in unison with me. Can't wait.
In all seriousness, I feel so extremely lucky to have found a partner in life that treats me like a queen, believes in my dreams and supports me in my pursuit of them, is almost as smart as me (lol), and makes me excited to build a future with. He is the first person I want to tell about my day, my favorite person to laugh with, and the best person for me to spend a lifetime with. I'm excited for the next year and the years after that, because I know we have so many more things we want to accomplish together.
All that being said, what have I learned in these five years of marriage? Quite a lot actually. I've learned about myself, I've learned about Shawn, about how we make it through struggles, about the foundations of strong relationships, and about what works for us and what does not. Thinking back on the last five years and the lessons I've learned, I made this list of five things that I feel have made the biggest difference in our marriage, and why it's been so great. So here we go:
1. Communication is key. Duh, right? But honestly, you can't emphasize this one enough. I have learned that I blow up sometimes, because I let little things that bother me slide over and over until it all bottles up and explodes all at once. I will full on lose my shit over a dish being left out one day. It really wasn't that single dirty dish that made me a psycho person, rather it was a bunch of dishes being left out over the course of several weeks that could have been addressed very early on in a much calmer manner. This one is a daily struggle to remember. Being as open and honest with your partner, in all things, from as little as dirty dishes to as big as parenting and finances, is the easiest way to avoid massive fights and hurt feelings. Talk it out, and don't hold back!
2. Make time for each other. This is a big one for us, because we have struggled with this one in years past. I was busy training for competitions and he was busy traveling for work. Over time, we realized how much being apart for such long periods of time was taking a toll on our marriage. Now, we make time for each other. Our latest pastime together is hiking. When we go on hikes, we create real, quality time together. No phones, no internet, no distractions. Just him and I, on a mountain, walking and talking for hours. It has done WONDERS for our relationship, and we have laughed and chatted and made life plans more in the past couple of months than we have in all five years of our marriage. I cannot stress enough how much good, quality time together contributes to a strong relationship foundation.
3. Push each other outside of your comfort zones. If you read my post on our recent hike up Longs Peak, you know I've been pushed, quite far, outside of my comfort zone by my wonderful husband. Even though I kind of hated him at times during that 11 hour journey, I love him for giving me the push to accomplish something so awesome. I would never have been brave enough to do that on my own, but with him by my side, I knew I could do it. I feel like marriage is full of moments like that. Doubting yourself is a part of life. Your partner should encourage you to push yourself to create moments like our summit of Longs Peak. Life's greatest moments come from being able to step outside those safe zones and brave the unfamiliar. A good life partner will help you do that.
4. Support each other relentlessly. Much like Shawn is my biggest fan in everything I do, I hope he knows that I am his biggest fan as well. I admire him so much for his incredible people skills and ability to make friends everywhere he goes. That man could literally talk to a wall for hours. I am so proud of all the things he has accomplished in his career, as well as everything he's doing to create a foundation for our family in the future.
As much as I support that guy, he supports me back tenfold. This guy took a sick day at work earlier this year to fly down to Miami to surprise me at my CrossFit competition. He has always been my number one cheerleader in every competition I have ever done, and wants nothing more than for me to live my dreams. When I doubt myself, he kicks that shit to the wind and reminds me of how awesome I am and how far I have come. That, my friends, is love. Support your partner, and find someone that supports you equally. Never settle for someone that doesn't believe in your ability to achieve your dreams.
5. Lean on your partner when times get tough. This one can also go hand-in-hand with trusting your significant other. Life is hard sometimes. This year, in particular, has been a tough one for me. After my last competition in January, I almost felt as though I had lost a piece of myself. Training had been such a huge part of my life for so long, and I didn't exactly know how to deal with that lost sense of identity. I was struggling with that, along with Shawn being away for work, and then add in the fact that we were also having a tough time trying to get pregnant. I was putting a whole lot of stress on myself and attempting to deal with it all on my own. I can't tell you how many times I sat in my bed and cried or called Shawn and broke down because of how much I was beating myself up and how miserable I was in my current situation.
The solution: change the situation. We decided that our best option was for me to move out to Colorado with him when he went to train for his next job. Being out here with Shawn, taking the time to figure out what path I want to take next, and knowing that he will be there for me every step of the way, has turned this year around for the better. The moral of that long-winded anecdote is to have faith that your partner can help you through rough times. It can be scary as hell packing up your life, quitting your job, and moving across the country to start over, but sometimes that's what it takes to find your happiness. Shawn helped me realize that that was what was best for me and ultimately, for our relationship.
Basically, my husband rules. We have created so many amazing memories together, and I cannot wait to create more.
Fun fact: our first date was at a mini golf place in Atlanta that also had an arcade room. We played a round of mini golf, which I will admit, I lost in. BUT, I whooped his ASS at air hockey. We even played 2 out of 3, y'all, I still won. Anyways, we are going to recreate that first date tonight, by going to play putt-putt down the road from our hotel. Hopefully I don't suck tonight, because I am a very sore loser. We also plan to grill out steaks on the back deck of the hotel. We really don't have a whole lot else on the agenda this weekend. Just two kids, hanging out, enjoying life. That's what it's all about right?
Anyways, I hope you guys enjoyed my little five year anniversary post. I would LOVE to hear your thoughts on marriage and your advice to us going forward. As Shawn would say, "I mean, we might not even make it to 6 years." Let us know how we can make it, guys! Haha. Have an amazing weekend!!